TAKE TWO REVIEW
From the creators of Castle, Take Two is the enjoyable new ABC series about an actress and a P.I. who solve crimes together. It’s a fun mashup of the crime procedural, cozy mystery, and romantic comedy genres and should be on your radar if you love Castle, Hart of Dixie, Moonlight, or Romantic Crime Fiction.
The series tells the story of Sam (Rachel Bilson), an actress who’s in need of redemption after a humiliating series of events sent her to rehab. With a potential role as a P.I in her reach, she teams up with a real private investigator (Eddie Cibrian) to learn about the job. Soon, she discovers from her years of working on a police procedural series and studying human behavior, that she’s actually pretty good at solving crimes. And much to the roguish Eddie’s dismay, the two of them make a good team.
While there’s nothing especially original about Take Two, the show accomplishes what it sets out to do: entertain. The writers understand the romantic crime genre and their targeted audience and don’t take themselves too seriously. So, it’s a light, breezy series with the potential for romance. Though after episode one, it’s unclear if this will be like the unabashedly romantic Moonlight without the vampires or the long drawn out romance between Mulder and Scully. I’m hoping it’s like the former as sometimes the “will they, won’t they” can get tiresome if dragged out too long.
Besides the romance angle, the strongest aspects of the show are the humor and Rachel Bilson’s likability. Fans of Hart of Dixie should appreciate her performance! And, although I like Eddie Cibrian in the role, somehow, it’s hard not to make comparisons to actors who’ve played the romantic P.I in series that came before. However, while’s he’s not as charming as Alex O’Loughlin or David Boreanaz or even Benedict Cumberbatch, he’s still good. Plus, Cibrian and Bilson have believable chemistry to make the “possible” romance authentic.
As far as the rest of the cast, the pilot only gives the other characters minimal screen time, so we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the season plays out. But, so far, the Medical Examiner, Mick English (played by the fabulous Jordan Gavaris of Orphan Black fame) has the most potential as a character – mostly due to Gavaris’ scene-stealing ability. But I’m interested in how the rest of the team will work in future episodes as everyone seems capable to pull off a memorable cast that will draw in a loyal fanbase. There’s Aliyah O Brien as Detective Rollins, Alice Lee as Sam’s assistant and agent who comes in episode 2, and Xavier De Guzman as Eddie’s “sidekick.”
Overall, if you judge the series on the procedural element, it’s mediocre. But if you go in for the characters, the entertainment factor, and the possible romance, the series succeeds with the potential to improve. Sure, there’s some cliché dialogue, it’s derivative of Castle, and the mystery of the week isn’t fabulous (though neither were the mysteries on Bones or Castle), but the show has a lot of promise – especially if it focuses on the characters, romance-novel-like scenes, and humor rather than over-relying on the procedural element. Not to mention, it’s amusing to watch and the perfect light-hearted show for the summer. Overall, if you enjoy “will they, won’t they” crime-solving duos or romantic cozy mysteries, then you’ll probably enjoy this fun new summer series.
Where to Watch: The show airs on Thursdays on ABC. You can also watch the series on Hulu.
Content Note: Rated TV-PG
Did you watch Take Two? What are your thoughts on this new series? Let me know in the comments!
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